Brain magnetic resonance imaging findings six months after critical COVID-19: A prospective cohort study.

Ollila H, Pihlajamaa J, Martola J, Kuusela L, Blennow K, Zetterberg H, Salmela V, Hokkanen L, Tiainen M, Hästbacka J

J Crit Care 80 (-) 154502 [2023-12-18; online 2023-12-18]

COVID-19 patients suffered from neurological symptoms in the acute phase. Whether this led to long-term consequences was unknown. We studied long-term brain MRI findings in ICU-treated COVID-19 patients and compared them with findings in groups with less severe acute disease. In this prospective cohort study, 69 ICU-treated, 46 ward-treated, and 46 home-isolated patients, as well as 53 non-COVID-19 controls, underwent brain MRI six months after acute COVID-19. Plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL), a biomarker of neuroaxonal injury, was measured simultaneously. Ischaemic infarctions existed in 5.8% of ICU-treated patients. Cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) existed in 27 (39.1%) ICU-treated, 13 (28.3%) ward-treated, 8 (17.4%) home-isolated COVID-19 patients, and 12 (22.6%) non-COVID controls. Patients with CMBs were older (p < 0.001), had a higher level of plasma NfL (p = 0.003), and higher supplementary oxygen days (p < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, age (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.09) and supplementary oxygen days (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.13) were associated with CMBs. The ICU group showed prevalent distribution of CMBs in deep regions. Age and supplementary oxygen days were independently associated with CMBs; COVID-19 status showed no association. Accumulation of risk factors in the ICU group may explain the higher prevalence of CMBs. ClinicalTrials.govNCT04864938, registered February 9, 2021.

Category: Imaging

Category: Post-COVID

Funder: H2020

Funder: NordForsk

Funder: VR

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38113746

DOI 10.1016/j.jcrc.2023.154502

Crossref 10.1016/j.jcrc.2023.154502

pii: S0883-9441(23)00251-4 NCT04864938

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